Team Huddles

Morning Huddle and Daily Stand-Up Meetings | The Most Important Business Meeting


Morning stand-up meetings are an important part of any team's workflow. They offer a way for teams to stay on top of tasks and projects, communicate effectively, and create accountability among team members. By outlining tasks and goals for the day, teams can stay aligned on objectives, identify potential issues early, and create a culture of collaboration. Additionally, these meetings create a sense of shared ownership between members by allowing everyone to contribute ideas and provide feedback. With the help of morning stand-up meetings, teams can become more productive and efficient in achieving their goals.

Morning Meetings – The daily stand-up meeting is the most important business meeting.


What is the huddle meeting meaning? The daily huddle meaning refers to a daily meeting that takes place, normally a stand up meeting where we review the key performance for the previous day and plan for today.

Morning Meetings – The daily stand-up meeting is the most important business meeting.

Every morning I used to come into work, take off my jacket and immediately crowd around the performance boards for the 15-minute daily stand-up run by a selected team member. At 8:30 am, the office would pause, and teams would get together.

It was not a regular sit-down meeting where everyone turned up a few minutes late with freshly brewed coffee and a moleskin notepad. You were more likely to see people turn up with scribbles on paper. Neither was it scheduled in the diary. It was agile, designed for every team member, including remote team members and agile teams.

As you looked up and down the open plan office, every team was doing the same. A team member was standing at the front; the entire team was up on their feet, dotted around the floor in small groups, or dialled in with remote teams, taking 15 minutes to get the day up and running with the same daily routine – A daily stand-up meeting.

At 8:45 am, when the stand-up meetings were over and the teams logged off the remote call or returned to work, the team managers moved onto another huddle with the department heads. By 9 am, the department heads were doing their huddle with the senior leaders.

Across multiple floors and numerous sites, the same meetings were happening face to face, with remote workers on the telephone or via web conferences. 

Within 30 to 45mins, the critical information from the front line was being communicated to the business leaders either as “we are all good” or “we are going to struggle today” so that the necessary support could be offered from a senior level.

In the book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Verne Harnish states that the morning meeting — the “huddle”- is a critical feature of any successful business. They have become a common feature in many organisations across an ever-expanding wide range of sectors.

In the automotive industry, they have been called morning “pitstops”; in healthcare, they have been called the “Healthy Huddles”; and in the banking sector, they have been called “morning shouts”.

So what are these meetings? How should we set these meetings up? What is the meeting agenda? 

“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”

The Daily Huddle

The Daily Huddles tend to be taken standing up. For a simple 15 mins meeting, you will spend more time finding a suitable room and organising chairs and potentially lose 15 mins in getting to the meeting and getting back to the tasks at hand.

The huddle should be done as close to where the actual work is done as possible. This is known as the “Gemba”, where the value is being created. They should also be done around some form of Huddle board with a clear daily huddle agenda.

The Board – The Team Huddle Board


The Huddle Board is the centrepiece, in my experience, of driving successful team daily stand-up meetings. It’s a board, perhaps a chalkboard, whiteboard, electronic dashboard (for a remote team), or just a Kanban board that visually communicates in a simple way what the team set out to achieve and what they did achieve. The goal is to develop a visual communication tool that allows key performance metrics to be communicated quickly

. Not only does this drive efficiency within the team and help focus the entire meeting, but it also drives clarity for team members. These meetings can be run by any of the team members, the project team leader, the project manager or the scrum master in some instances.

The 3 Killer Questions


To get the entire team on the same page, ask these simple questions: What was the plan? How did we do against the plan? What can we do better?

These three questions form the basis to discuss progress, and they open up a discussion around performance in general, including the team’s task board, goals, targets and improvements. activities. These are three questions for the short meeting involving the whole team.

While we refer to them in the example of the huddle, these questions should form the basis of any performance review, 1–2–1, individual action plans, and project action plans.

They are very similar to the “PDCA” (Plan, Do, Check, Act), which is the beginning of driving performance improvements that lead to high-performing teams’ development.

The 3 Killer Questions for All Business Meetings


What was the plan? 


The first part of the meeting is to review yesterday’s performance. In yesterday’s meeting, you would have planned to achieve something and set out some targets and some goals. This might have been to phone 15 clients or ship every order received online. What is key is to have a look at the plan that was sent out. And then ask …

How did we do against the plan?


So if we set out to phone the 15 clients, did we manage to do it? Did we ship every order received online, or did we have some holdover that we failed to send out due to a system error? Perhaps we received many more orders than expected and did not have enough resources to meet the demand.

Then finally, this is where the whole idea of continually looking to find better and better ways of working comes together.

What can we do better?


If the team failed to phone 15 customers as planned, why was that? Did the team have an extra long lunch, or was it the fact that one of the calls took a lot longer than planned? Perhaps someone had to leave early due to a childcare issue. Or maybe we had not planned our resources correctly. The goal of the 3rd Killer Question is to delve into what can be done better to improve things and not to lay blame. We can begin this with simple team Five Why problem-solving sessions to highlight the root causes.

It is crucial at this stage to avoid side conversations and keep the clear agenda focused on the work board and the 15 min time limit to the meeting short.

How do you have a successful daily stand-up meeting?


In Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willinks to the Post Mission Briefing, where Navy Seals discuss what went right and what went wrong, we can adapt our tactics to be more effective next time. – Read Extreme Ownership & Lean Management.

All meetings aim to be action-driven, with one team member taking the lead.

Not every problem can be solved in 15 mins during the morning meeting. Perhaps you failed to ship every order received online because the shipping process took too long. Or that the pick-up occurred at 2:30 pm, but orders come in until 8 pm. You might be unable to fix why the shipping process took too long. But later today or later in the week, you could plan to put an hour slot together with some key team members to review the shipping process in more detail and figure out how to improve it. The daily meeting schedule drives the next meeting agenda, which drives fewer meetings and improvements in weekly meeting topics.

What’s key is that everyone engages in this final question of the huddle. You create a culture of improvement by asking what we could have done daily. And you might have succeeded in the plan perfectly yesterday, but could we have done more, done something different, found new customers or found a new way to do something? Everything can be improved — continuously.

A Successful Daily Stand-Up Drives Change


The day should never begin without a new plan, so it’s vital to look forward rather than look at the past. The team needs to agree on today’s agenda and identify in advance anything that might stop today’s program from being achieved.

Doing this forward-looking part is essential and ensures you can ask the exact 3 Killer Questions tomorrow.

Visual Management, when combined with morning huddles plus daily, weekly, and monthly performance reviews, forms the basis of any suitable solid operation from software development through to manufacturing. 

We depend highly on visual cues for everything we do, so they must be leveraged across businesses. Too much visual management, on the other side, becomes wallpaper.

At LeanScape, we specialise in building visual performance networks across businesses. We help link performance boards and daily standup meeting agendas with agile teams to drive results. This may be daily standup meetings with distributed teams using video call or agile daily stand-up meetings held within your workspace.

We link business strategy through balanced scorecards down to team morning huddles so that there is a level of focus and clarity every day. If you are interested in discussing this, please book a session when it suits you. Book here

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Picture of Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell is a highly accomplished professional with 15 years of experience in building lean management programs for corporate companies. With his expertise in strategy execution, he has established himself as a trusted advisor for numerous organisations seeking to improve their operational efficiency.

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